Horizon Power expands battery storage capabilities

Horizon Power has continued to develop its utility-scale energy storage capabilities in regional Western Australia through its ongoing trial in Carnarvon.

As part of a $7.1 million pilot project, Horizon has installed a variety of distributed energy technologies in 90 homes and businesses in Carnarvon.

The technology tested will include internet of things (IoT) energy metering, rooftop solar, household battery storage and inverters with remote monitoring and control devices, and weather forecast devices.

The three-year trial aims to overcome the technical and commercial barriers faced by ‘prosumers’, to reduce the cost of distributed energy systems by up to 25 per cent.

The batteries under trial in Carnarvon are providing an exciting learning platform for Horizon Power as they respond to real-life operating scenarios like generator trips and network faults, the company said.

The Carnarvon batteries have demonstrated ability to instantly discharge large amounts of energy (up to 2MW) to help stabilise the system when transient events like a generator trip occur.

Horizon Power general manager power system services Laurie Curro said the utility had already leveraged off early learnings from the Carnarvon trial to help inform the next generation of integration, which is about to be demonstrated in Onslow.

In Onslow, a 1MW storage system is being installed and integrated into the new power station facility about to be commissioned.

“The 1MW battery storage system in Onslow will primarily be used to optimise spinning reserve at the station, saving on fuel and generator run hours while also enhancing reliability for the town,” Mr Curro said.

“In the longer term, Horizon Power also plans to install an additional 1MW battery in the Onslow network which will offer a more diverse range of operating modes and functions like solar smoothing for increased renewables and peak load-shifting.

“Having the ability to effectively integrate utility-scale batteries in remote islanded microgrid systems is recognised as another part of Horizon Power’s developing toolkit for more efficient operation and for enabling more renewables.”